Biggest Bingo Companies

mecca bingo hall screenshot
Credit: .Martin./Flickr.com

Bingo has become one of the mainstay games of the gambling world, and multiple companies have raised their profiles to become the biggest in action. Each one has, of course, started out as a small organisation looking to provide avid players with bingo options, and has gone on to grow considerably since then.

It is here that we take a look at the biggest bingo companies in existence. We’ll also be looking at any innovations that they have introduced to the bingo world, which software providers they work with and any other special features relative to the companies. Without further ado, here are the biggest bingo companies for you to get to grips with.

Mecca Bingo

Current Revenue Employees HQ Location No of Customers
£202.1 million 8,400 Maidenhead, UK 1 million each year

If you live in the United Kingdom, then there’s a likelihood that you’ve seen a land-based establishment that provides Mecca Bingo services. There are numerous bingo halls that come under the company’s ownership.

It hasn’t always been known by this name, though. As it happens, Mecca Bingo was previously operating under the name of Top Rank. A UK-based company and operator of 82 bingo clubs found within major towns and cities, Mecca Bingo is currently owned by the Rank Group, which is responsible for various online gaming industries (including casinos like Grosvenor) throughout Belgium, Spain and the UK. And the Rank Group is constantly expanding as well, with its latest acquisition being Stride Gaming.

Mecca bingo hall club screenshot

Mecca actually began operating bingo games back in 1953, when a man by the name of Eric Morley became the director of Mecca’s UK dace halls. He helped to popularise the game throughout the UK, by introducing it to these halls, changing it from a small catering and dancing firm into a leading entertainment and catering company.

It was in 1990 that the Rank Organisation made an offer of £512 million in order to acquire the Mecca Leisure Group. The offer may have initially been rejected, but it was later accepted after a two-month period. A mainstay throughout the UK ever since, Mecca Bingo has grown considerably, and has in more recent times received awards such as Bingo Operator of the Year at the 2016 International Gaming Awards and Most Socially Responsible in 2017 at another awards.

Mecca Ventures Out

mecca bingoBingo halls remain the prime example of Mecca’s services, and this is clear throughout the UK. However, the brand has also branched out to try and incorporate the game of bingo into various other locations. For example, you only need to take a look at the Luda Café in the town of Walsall. This provides a retro gaming experience to visitors, where not only bingo is available, but arcade games and more. It brings a much more modern feel to the idea of bingo halls, making the game more appealing for younger players.

The brand also recently signed into a deal with singer and star of Strictly Come Dancing, Louise Redknapp. This saw her appear in the newest television advertisements for the brand, while Mecca went on to launch its new £5,000 Daily Jackpots promotion alongside. Having a famous face to promote your brand for you is a key element in getting yourself noticed, and with Louise gaining more notoriety through her stint on the celebrity dancing show, Mecca has certainly entered into a great promotional deal.

Gala Bingo

Current Revenue Employees HQ Location No of Customers
£202.5 million 6,000 Isle of Man, UK 1.2 million active
gala bingo hall screenshot
Credit: ElliottBrown/Flickr.com

Gala Bingo is owned by GVC Holdings and has been around since 1991, operating as a division of Bass Plc. In later years, it branched out and became an independent company before being acquired by the Coral Eurobet group in 2005. At that point, it went by the name of Gala Coral Group before selling all 126 of its clubs to Caledonia Investments in 2015.

In history, the largest number of clubs owned by Gala stood at 174 altogether, but once the United Kingdom introduced its smoking ban in 2007, that number declined to about 140 quite swiftly. It was also in 2015 that Gala Coral agreed to be acquired by one of its rivals – Ladbrokes. All of the land-based bingo halls were not a part of that deal though, which is why Caledonia Investments obtained them instead. That merger was completed on November 1, 2016 and it saw Ladbrokes become Ladbrokes Coral.

Now, all online Gala Bingo operations are operated by the GVC Holdings brand, after Ladbrokes Coral agreed to a deal worth around £4 billion. The land-based establishments became rebranded under the name of Buzz Bingo after the Caledonia Investments takeover and are no longer connected with Gala Bingo.

Playtech Power for Gala

playtech mobile bingo screenshotSince it began its online operations in 2005, Gala Bingo has been powered by the Playtech software developer. This is no big surprise, as Playtech has provided such to a large number of online bingo sites. It’s also a reason why this brand remains one of the most popular bingo platforms around today.

Gala actually boasts around five million bingo members, and about 1.2 million of those are considered active players. Additionally, reports suggest that an average of 600,000 admissions occur on the website every week.

Something that stood out about Gala Bingo for a time period was that it began participating in the Nectar loyalty card scheme. This saw players who possessed a Nectar card receive points for club admissions, which marked a first movement of such for the bingo industry. Furthermore, it was through Gala Bingo that the UK’s first millionaire was made. In July of 2007, pensioner Pauline Clarke won a tie break against another online player to achieve this accolade.

It also had its own television channel, Gala TV, which would air bingo games throughout the day. That service was available between 2006 and 2011.

William Hill

Current Revenue Employees HQ Location No of Customers
£738.3 million (online total revenue) 16,000 London, UK 3 million online customers in total

William Hill Bingo website homepageIt’s the case for most people to hear the name William Hill and immediately connect it up with sports betting. After all, that’s what the company is most famous for, considering its betting shops on high streets have provided such for many decades now. The company as a whole began operating in 1934, although this was solely as a land-based bookmaker.

Yet, in an online setting, William Hill also provides casino games, poker options and bingo gaming. As with many other sites, this one utilises the software of Playtech to provide its player base with exciting bingo games, and this is how it’s been since the company began offering such gaming in 2007. There are numerous rooms for players to access and enjoy different games of bingo, and this is just something else that makes William Hill an attractive location to enjoy it at.

Of course, it’s also handy that the brand is known to have a reputable status throughout the United Kingdom. Therefore, anyone looking for an authentic and fair bingo experience will find that at the site. Yet, in comparison to some other bingo companies, William Hill hasn’t gone through a mass of takeovers and such. Instead, it is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index under William Hill Plc.

Partnerships and Awards

william hillWhile it’s true that takeovers have not occurred, William Hill has done its own share of acquisitions and signed into various partnerships with other companies over the years. For example, in 2005, it purchased 624 betting offices in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Isle of man and Jersey from Stanley Leisure. That deal cost the company £504 million, and it was this that helped it to briefly soar beyond Ladbrokes as the prime betting provider in the UK in terms of shops owned, rather than revenue.

Three years later, William Hill entered into a partnership with Orbis, which later became Openbet, as well as the aforementioned Playtech, in a bit to sort out its own online operations, which had taken a deep decline in revenue. Today, Playtech still owns a 29% stake in the William Hill online entity, while Playtech’s founder Teddy Sagi sold the brand various assets and affiliate companies for £144.5 million.

It was in 2017 that William Hill Bingo won its first Playtech Award, signifying that the unison between the house has paid off in more ways than one. And even though the company has lost money following the reduction in maximum bets able to be placed on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in the UK, it remains as a popular online site for bingo players to visit.

Bet365

Current Revenue Employees HQ Location No of Customers
£202.5 million 4,700 Stoke-on-Trent, UK 45 million globally

Perhaps you would have known instantly that bet365 would have made this list. It’s the biggest sports betting operator within the UK, and that says a lot for a company that hasn’t been around as long as the others within this collection. Being founded in 2000 and basing itself out of a Portakabin in Stoke-on-Trent, Denise Coates is the woman responsible for building Bet365 up to the mammoth gambling operation that it is today.

Sports betting remains a prime specialty of the Bet365 website, but to accompany this, there are numerous other gambling opportunities at the site, including bingo gaming. This became available for members of the Bet365 website later on, but it remains a popular option for them to access, providing additional revenue to the platform.

Needless to say, it didn’t take a huge number of years for the company to soar to the top of the popularity and achievements charts. This is also due to the fact that it has introduced various innovative features to its site for players to utilise.

Some of the awards that have been obtained by the brand include the Operator of the Year accolade at the 2010 eGaming Review Operator Awards and Sportsbook of the Year for the sixth consecutive year from the SBC Awards 2019.

Bet365 Remains in Prime Position

bet365 bingoIt is for these reasons and so many more that Bet365 remains in the prime position of biggest bookmaker in the United Kingdom. Figures reported for March 2018 dictated that the online site had experienced sports wagers of around £52.56 billion, with revenue of £2.86 billion and an operating profit of £660.3 million all being attributed to it.

Where bingo is concerned, Bet365 offers its players 20 different rooms to enter and engage in gameplay, and there are various special promotions that members can partake in, too (at the time of writing). Playtech is the developer that provides bingo software to Bet365, which is another reason that it holds such popularity with players. On the whole, it makes for a compelling online bingo site, and works very nicely in tandem with the other gambling options provided by the brand.